Even more back to school advice

I’d like to tag along with the topic I started a couple of days ago. It was inspired by this article that I had read recently.

The back to school advice teachers want all parents to know

So far, I’ve shared my thoughts on workspace and meals and I sit here at my desk finishing off a banana.

Today, I’d like to address

Don’t jump to conclusions

In the article, it is directed toward parents and I get that. It’s great advice and worth knowing that what you might hear from your child or other parents is based upon their perceptions at the time and based on their personal opinion. It can’t be discounted because it’s absolutely truthful to them.

My mom gave me wonderful advice way back – “there’s your truth, there’s their real truth, and then there’s the real truth”.


As it appears in the article, it’s really unwise to judge student performance based on an observation at one point in time. Students learn and mature at different rates and understanding that is so important. Think about it; if learning in Grade 3 at that moment is so important, why is that grade actually a year long?


Sometimes, you can see it double down with students. High fliers expect great results all the time and parents that expect top results put pressure on at home. Teachers often will give a second chance to succeed or throw out a bad mark. I’ve known so many teachers over the years and I’ve yet to meet one whose game plan is to plan to give a student a failing grade. Usually, there are all kinds of opportunities to fix things; you just need to ask.


I remember the year I taught Grade 9 mathematics. I was so excited even though it was a split level class. A person thought that they were doing me a favour and took me aside and gave the advice to look at the elementary school the students were coming from. “Historically”, this school produces better mathematics students because of the Grade 8 teacher. I nodded politely; my biggest concern was going to be sure that I could teach the concepts effectively. There are lots of times when you can leap to conclusions like homework not done because you felt that they didn’t care when in reality there was something serious happening at home.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions. It’s often the quickest and most efficient way to react to any situation and yet, it’s probably the least helpful strategy. Often letting things play out leads to better results.

I still remember my first vice-principal talking to the three of us new hires before we started our career “Remember that nobody wakes up wondering how they’re going to screw up today”.

Such wise advice.

Check out this post from Albert Fong about the importance of being compassionate.


OTR Links 09/08/2022

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.